Arizona – A California woman, Alysia Franco, formerly known as Martha Orozco, pleaded guilty to participating in a Tucson real estate wire fraud scheme.
Back in September 2015, a Tucson resident reported the theft of closing funds during a real estate transaction to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
According to the Arizona Attorney General’s Office, the victim had wired $189,500 in closing funds to a bank account in the name of SkySea Logistics Services after receiving an email indicating the bank account information for the closing had changed. The victim, believing the email was from a party to the real estate transaction, wired the funds as instructed in the email. However, SkySea Logistics Services was a front business controlled by Franco and was not a legitimate party to the real estate transaction. Franco provided SkySea Logistics Service’s business and account information to others for use in receiving the proceeds of criminal activity between September 2013 and September 2015.
During the investigation, the FBI discovered another Tucson victim who transferred closing funds to the same SkySea Logistics Services’ account. The funds wired by both victims totaled $391,500.
The Attorney General’s Office seized the full amount of the funds from the bank account and returned the money to the victims.